MGM / Paramount
“That bear is wearing people’s clothes.”
Looking to mine for gold, greedy industrialist Bartholomew Bogue seizes control of the Old West town of Rose Creek. With their lives in jeopardy, Emma Cullen and other desperate residents turn to bounty hunter Sam Chisolm for help. Chisolm recruits an eclectic group of gunslingers to take on Bogue and his ruthless henchmen. With a deadly showdown on the horizon, the seven mercenaries soon find themselves fighting for more than just money once the bullets start to fly.
Here we are, with another remake of another movie that many consider to be a classic of the respective genre, that being the 1960 Western classic The Magnificent Seven. And I’m certain that, by now, due to the ability of many to at least do a Google search of the original Magnificent Seven, everyone reading this review of mine would already know that the first Magnificent Seven was actually in itself a remake of the Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece Seven Samurai. Only, with cowboys. Making this here update technically a remake of a remake. Remake-ception. Do people still reference that meme? I really don’t pay attention to these things. Anyway…
Regarding my desire to see this update, I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit (see what I did there?) to head out and watch it when it was released back in September. It looked interesting, yes. Just like any other Western remade with a more diverse cast but with all the same tropes we know and love from the Western movie genre. I waited until the later part of October to watch it, and then on a Saturday morning showing at a certain theater I don’t go to very often, so that even if I didn’t find it too entertaining, at least I could pick up one of those fantastic taco salads the adjacent sports bar whips up for lunch. Well, I was going to do so even if I was entertained, but still. Great taco salads there.
And, really, I was entertained by this Magnificent Seven. I’ve never really seen the 1960 version, so I have no idea if it follows the story closely; though, it does seem to adhere to your standard Western design: Evil land Barron is trying to force a town off of prime real estate for mining purposes, town hires a roving Marshal to help eliminate the bully, roving Marshal gathers together a posse of misfits and outlaws and inspires the townfolk to fight back, and then a showdown blows up the third act of the movie, causing the town’s Undertaker’s business to take a sudden uptick.
Did I say I was entertained by this movie? Yes, yes I did. And I wasn’t lying about that. The characters were what you would call cliche’–Peter Sarsgaard’s robber Barron character is all but missing the mustache twirling, and while I loves me some Denzel Washington in whatever he does, his character does come off as a bit overly altruistic for his own good–that in no way distracts from the fun this movie is. It doesn’t pretend to be more than just a Western, and a remake of one at that. Everyone is does great with their respective characters, with Vincent D’Onofrio standing out as the extremely quirky tracker/hunter Jack Horne.
Overall, though, I wouldn’t really recommend paying full price to watch The Magnificent Seven. Maybe a nice early matinee like I did, or maybe wait for the DVD release to watch.